SXSW Interview: Parrot Dream

I first came to discover Parrot Dream through my Interwebs friendship with band member Matt, who also played in Exiles. He dropped me some tunes, and when I heard they were coming for SXSW, so I reached out hoping to catch them for a few quick questions. There’s also a few singles hanging out at the end of the Interview for you to enjoy.

ATH: Every Year there is a lot of hubbub concerning corporate sponsors and pay to play and what not at SXSW. As a band, what’s your reason for coming to play at the festival? What do you hope to get out of it?

Parrot Dream: Well the main reason we’re playing this year is we were invited! As a Brooklyn-based we don’t get to play too many shows outside of the NYC-area so we’re really looking forward to seeing and playing with other bands from all over the world. We are fully conscious of the hubbub, but feel that the festival can still be enjoyed as a shared platform for artists. Also we’re releasing our first LP this year so we’re excited to play these new songs and connect with as many people as we can in Austin!

ATH: For most SXSW sets, you get 30 minutes to leave a lasting impression. What’s your plan of attack? You have a set list mapped out yet?

Parrot Dream: We don’t usually plan our set lists too far in advanced but we do like to get a sense of the vibe of the room and the sound of the other bands we’re playing with and sometimes tailor our set accordingly. We’ll also get to play some stripped-down, semi-acoustic sets while in Austin which keep things fresh and exciting for us.

ATH: The festival caters to music fans, but food and booze are an important aspect of the fans and the bands. What’s your band’s food and beverage of choice?

Parrot Dream: As a band we do occasionally enjoy a nice whiskey after we play a particularly fun show, but if the drinks are free we’re not too choosey. We’re planning on partaking in the great tex-mex and BBQ Austin has too offer. Our bassist is already talking about taking a BBQ pilgrimage to Lockhart (He’s loyal to Black’s if you were wondering).

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town. Who would you ideally like to play with of the 1000s of bands gracing our city? Make your own optimal line-up.

Parrot Dream: Luckily we’re already playing shows with some great bands Brooklyn bands like Ex-Girlfriends, Tall Juan and Fruit and Flowers but if we were to make an ideal wish-list there’s some definite big reaches. Wye Oak, Gaz Coombes, just to name a few.

ATH: We are partial to SXSW obviously, but what festival do you feel is the best around?

Parrot Dream: The big field festivals can be fun, like Austin City Limits, though the heat and the crowds can get to you. In Brooklyn we have the Northside Festival which is similar to SXSW or CMJ but on a much smaller, local scale so it doesn’t feel quite as corporate.

ATH: Let’s say your band has been booked an official showcase at a pop up venue somewhere in the middle of 6th street. The lineup features thrash metal, hip-hop, spoken word, and you. The sound is horrible, the lineup is not your style, and the crowd seems angry at the world. How would your band deal with such a situation?

Parrot Dream: Ha, well we’ve definitely been in some situations where we’ve shown up to a gig and asked ourselves ‘what are we doing here?’. Our outlook for live shows is to always treat every show we play equally important.

ATH: What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus?

Parrot Dream: There’s definitely some choice playlists being made for the drive down to Austin. Some favorites from last year: Frankie Rose, Gingerlys, Alvvays, Grizzly Bear, The War on Drugs, Vagabon, Protomartyr, Big Thief, and Priests.

ATH: Who wins the World Cup this summer?

Parrot Dream: Chile for sure.

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